For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Rob Douglas: Obama's visit a failed opportunity

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Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas' column appears Fridays in the Steamboat Today. He can be reached at rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Douglas here.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama came to Colorado to sign the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act into law. The ceremony at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science provided the president with a test of his campaign promise to govern with transparency.

He failed miserably.

Unfortunately, when he signed the law, the president demonstrated that his oft-repeated campaign rhetoric about "change" - particularly when it comes to the way legislation is enacted - was nothing more than typical political hyperbole.

With Obama, the more he claims things will change, the more they stay the same.

Like 48 percent of Americans, I did not vote for Obama. Additionally, I'm in league with those who realize the law the president signed, as written by congressional Democrats, was never actually intended as an economic stimulus. Rather, it's a smoke screen for dramatically and permanently enlarging the welfare state.

This is no surprise to anyone who understands politics. At the national level, politics is about one thing - power and money. Specifically, politicians derive their power through the control of other people's money.

Since the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, the federal government has devolved into a massive bureaucracy designed to transfer wealth. The party in power gets to decide from whom the money will be taken and to whom it will be given. That power lies behind every decision within Congress.

Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty as they pass through the revolving door. They dole out billions to those greasing their and their party's campaign accounts in an attempt to maintain power.

So, it is no surprise that the president is moving to enact his party's agenda. Many on the far left of Obama's party have waited nearly 50 years for a northern liberal to retake the presidency, and they want their policies fulfilled before Obama-mania fades.

And, to an extent, that is as it should be.

Elections have consequences. President George W. Bush and the Republicans had their chance for the past eight years and proved - among many sins - incapable of controlling spending.

To watch congressional Republicans and the Republican National Committee hyperventilate and bemoan the trillions currently being thrown about by Obama and the Democrats is to witness the collective personification of hypocrisy.

Perhaps because both parties have been irresponsible for decades, I hoped candidate Obama was being honest when he said he would govern with transparency. That one change - particularly when it came to the bill signed in Denver on Tuesday - would have gone a long way to allowing Americans back into the legislative process.

Very few Americans know the reality of how laws and spending bills come to fruition. Truth be told, it ain't through representative democracy. It's done through raw power vested in a single ranking congressional leader or committee chairperson with control of billions and billions of tax dollars.

What you see on C-Span is fiction. The pillaging takes place behind closed doors - doors that candidate Obama promised to open.

During his campaign for the presidency, Obama promised, "When I'm president, meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public. No more secrecy. That's a commitment I'm going to make to you as president. No more secrecy."

Obama broke that promise. The bill signed in Denver this week was finalized in secret.

The president and congressional Democrats also pledged that Americans would have at least 48 hours to review pending legislation before Congress voted, so that constituents could provide feedback to their congressional representatives.

Obama and congressional Democrats broke that promise, as well. The bill signed in Denver this week was voted on less than 24 hours after being finalized in secret and before any constituent or congressional representative could digest the 1,100 pages.

So what should President Obama have done at the signing ceremony held in our great state?

He should have vetoed the bill with a speech demanding that Congress rework the bill with transparency while at the same time demanding that the hundreds of billions in non-stimulus pork be removed.

That would have been a meaningful change in the way Washington works.

That would have been change we could all believe in.

To reach Rob Douglas, e-mail Rob.Douglas@Comcast.net

Comments

housepoor 5 years, 5 months ago

Has Rob ever written a story about his man G.W. Bush? He seems to bash Obama in every other article....move on Rob the election is over.

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sickofitall 5 years, 5 months ago

Hey, he extended the unemployment terms, Good job Bushie!

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 5 months ago

On the tangential point regarding redistribution of wealth, in the broadest sense, Social Security and Medicare do that. Most of us are glad for that, I believe. Even when those concepts were hotly debated, the right conceded that there was a social need, but objected that the programs would be abused. In the 1930s, there were still Yankee concepts of personal morality that characterized public dialogue on welfare programs. Those who had been responsible, law abiding and thrifty resented redistribution of their wealth to the unworthy poor. The 'worthy poor' were seemingly classified as victims of fate such as widows and orphans, not the shiftless and morally lax, (again, in the language of that era). Bastard children it was thought should be left to the consequences of their poor choices for parents. In the sixties, the medicare debate took on modified overtones of the foregoing, moral judgments shifting to questions of abuse and waste. Throughout, Democrats have had the attidude that any social program will have a degree of fraud, abuse and encourage in some, irresponsible behavior. Republicans have tended to weight more heavily the moral and misconduct values. Although I am a social conservative, I think they were wrong. What concerns me about the left today is that although no one is starving in the United States, they view the disparity of wealth as a social evil that must be corrected, so that a person living in lower middle class or even at the poverty level has a claim on the savings and acquisitions of a countryman who may have started at the same place but who's self discipline and effort have been rewarded by a more comfortable life. Injustice as a wrong has morphed to social injustice and now economic injustice without a pause to ask whether that is right and who decides when the balance between the more fortunate and less fortunate has been appropriately struck. Prior posters, why don't you defend the actions of Pelosi and Harry Reed rather than hurling hate screed at Rob Douglas?

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freerider 5 years, 5 months ago

ROB ...you must have gone to the Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter school of politics , fortunately your opinion about anything doesn't matter anymore. Put a cork in it

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bigfatdog 5 years, 5 months ago

Rob, whether we agree or not, i appreciate your articles. You are wrong here, Obama is following his highest agenda item. Redistributing the wealth! The coming inflationary period will highlight the failures and there should be tax credits for all American citizens/businesses not just a select few. Bush policies put our country in jeopardy, Obama said there would be change but it looks like the chicago political engine is in full swing. Smoke and Mirrorrs!!!!

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justice4all 5 years, 5 months ago

A great article, Rob. If INSANE NOBAMA was really wanting to lower our national debt and make government more accountable and reduce tax burden on the working class ( as was one of his campaign promises), why did he waste tax money to fly to Colorado to sign a Bill, spend in excess of $21 million dollars of our money to cover the cost of: airforce one& the support aircraft, ground transportation, over 3200 hours of police and security wages and take time off from the White House instead of being on the job. Best I can count, NOBAMA has been out of the office or on vacation 37% of the time since it was elected. CHANGE was an appropriate word for NOBAMA to use in his campaign. Little did we know that what he really meant was that $change was all that we would have left. No dollars, just change. Well, that was one campaign promise that he has kept. The only one thus far.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 5 months ago

The disparity of wealth is not by itself a big problem. People that create wealth such as the founders of Google or Tiger Woods deserve to become wealthy.

Where wealth becomes an issue is when wealth by simply existing becomes even wealthier and those that do not have wealth have an even harder time staying afloat.

Such as earning money from having money is taxed as capital gains which has a much lower tax rate than income tax. Our system has tilted itself to help the wealthy and I think the country is better off when it is tilted to the middle class.

As for Rob Douglas and this article - he and the republican talking points keep repeating the same argument that this all is just part of a secret high spending agenda. That claim makes no sense because the fastest way for the Democrats to lose elections is to ruin the economy via a huge spending bill.

Get it through your head that we are in the middle of a historic financial crisis. Look at all of the big financial companies and banks that have lost hundreds of billions of dollars. Nation's largest insurer would be bankrupt if not for bailout. Two of the nation's largest banks would be bankrupt. Nation's largest brokerage would be bankrupt.

Housing, previously about 20% of the economy, has historic lows in new houses being built. Housing prices have dropped by historic amounts.

A record number of people are collecting unemployment. People say it is good that new unemployment claims has "stabilized" at 627,000. That at least things are not getting worse faster this week.

There is a very serious risk of spiraling down into a worldwide depression and it is so dishonest to act as if everything is normal and something needs to be done about free spending Democrats. The time for evaluating them will be whether they reduce the deficit when the economy stabilizes.

And the spending bill was put online, searchable and when wasteful items were found then they were removed. No bridges to nowhere that even when identified still had the money sent to the state.

What's next Rob? A column on how the economic problems are all a Democratic plot to justify huge spending bills?

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 5 months ago

Let's be fair here, for the Rob belittlers, please Identify the parts of Rob's article that you disagree. I don't see any bias here, this sounds like big hat and no cattle. You may disagree with Rob's conclusion, but a blanket condemnation here deserves an explanation.

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 5 months ago

Where is the counter balance to Rob's rants. I'd like for the Pilot to provide us with opinions from both sides on a regular basis. Although I missed Neil O'Keeffe's comment, having know him for many years I find it hard to believe he said anything that warranted removing his comment.

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Tim Scannell 5 years, 5 months ago

Scott. You avoided the point of his article. Are those your talking points?

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Tim Scannell 5 years, 5 months ago

Stillinsteamboat - you can be the counter balance to Rob. What facts do you disagree with?

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 5 months ago

Stillin, Tell me what's wrong with this article other than the fact that Rob didn't vote for O? O runs around sandbagging, to give himself an out for failure, by badmouthing the economy. He needs to stand up and lead us, and if he fails, he takes the heat. Both Reagen and Bush had enough character and understanding of responsibility to perform this most elementary task. They understood where the buck stops. Watch O if the economy perks up, his hand will be the first one in the air. On the other hand he will be the first one to find an excuse and point fingers if things don't work well, he has already planned this out. Leadership!NOT!

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 5 months ago

I was responding to the article. My points about things being tilted to the wealthy and the dire straits of the economy are direct counter arguments to::"Rather, it's [the stimulus is] a smoke screen for dramatically and permanently enlarging the welfare state."

No one with a brain thought that change to writing congressional bills meant that it all would be done in public sessions. The change was more subtle than that in that the proposed bill was put online and searchable prior to being voted upon. The republicans under Tom Delay several times voted on bills in which the final contents had yet to be published or circulated. It was literally impossible for anyone except a handful of staffers to know what was in the bill.

And you can already see the difference of having it online prior to the final vote. To whatever extent the final vote was rushed, what previously unknown bad ideas have been discovered this week? I haven't seen any list of horrors that anyone claims was a surprise to them.

And it is difficult to respond to the points in Rob's column and not to Republican talking points arguing a similar position because Rob's column is not at all specific regarding what spending is reinstating the welfare state or what is "the hundreds of billions in non-stimulus pork".

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sickofitall 5 years, 5 months ago

So de-regulation has made our economy strong? This comes down to greed plain and simple, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. "Trickle Down" economics failed. Bill Clinton is responsible for de-regulation, Reagan started it, Bushie 43 could have stopped it. It is what it is now. Pumping money into the banks without oversight has turned out to be a cluster frack. Nobody is giving Bushie 43 any bull for approving 700 billion (to Wallstreet) , or holding Paulson accountable, we literally gave it away and Obama gets heat for doing tarp, part 2?? You guys need to seriously think about how we got here and let Obama have slightly more than one month before we rush to judgement.

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 5 months ago

Tscan711 and Fred, Hows about istead of discussing all the sins Pres. Obama has commited in "4 weeks", let's talk about all the wonderful things that have happened as a result of the Bush admin.

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ybul 5 years, 5 months ago

Bush is gone, things were not very good. The people voted in democrats to do something in 2006, I hoped for some sort of investigation into misrepresenting facts to lead us into Iraq.

We are here now, as far as the "stimulus" bill, I see little hope of it stimulating anything. In conjunction with Geitner's plan to throw more trillions to the failing banks. We are going to be so far in debt that we may see severe public unrest.

On Organic Consumers there is an article about the most pressing problems facing the nation. The financial mess was number one.

Obama gave us a vision of a new energy economy and in addition to what his vision was, we got a bunch of crap that will not add to the tax dole to pay for the debt being piled on.

That is the main issue at hand the marginal reaction of what we are spending versus what we are getting in return. Right now we are throwing gasoline onto a fire in an effort to control it (adding debt in an effort to get over the hangover of too easy of credit).

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Rob,

All Republicans are on probation right now. And so are the Democrats. Both sides allowed the financial mess to occur by failing to regulate matters and allowing people of both parties to make a LOT of money on speculation with nothing to back it up.

As for Obama, he's not being evasive. He hasn't a clue what to do. One thing for sure, though, is that we don't need throngs of unemployed and homeless people out on the street starving. General civil disorder would be a lot worse than deficit spending for welfare programs.

So, in a few months, everybody will figure out that Obama's oratory skills don't pay the bills, and he'll be out in 2012 with a legacy worse than Jimmy Carter.

This country must return to basic extraction and productive industries in order to survive. We can't all live by making web pages and servicing mortgages and medical payments. That's what the government has to deal with to get us out of this mess, and unfortunately, the promises made by Obama for new clean and green energy and industry are not backed up with technology; only dreams so far.

It's time for Mr. O to put up or shut up. Unfortunately, he can't go away for four years.

Our real problem is Americans who are lazy, dishonest and drug addled. Everybody has got to work at it, or we will never recover. The examples set for us since the 60s are poor ones, and it's time for a change all right; back to personal responsibility.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Before we start having visions of riots in the street, let's take a little dose of reality and calm our own jitters. Kinda like sucking our own thumbs to calm ourselves. Cause it really isn't time to panic just yet.

First, as a country we are comparatively safe, perhaps safer than we've been in a number of years. The terrorists are having trouble raising their own brand of dough and they are getting their butts kicked in Iraq and getting ready to get wiped out in Afghanistan.

Second, we really know what went wrong --- lax credit standards for housing which created huge amounts of debt which now cannot be repaid. Bad outcome of a maybe OK idea. Caused by politicians and who cares whether they were Republicans or Democrats. Guess what, folks? The political class in America is not looking out for you. Revelation or simple recognition of a long standing fact?

Third, we know what medicine we have to take --- stop the crazy lending practices and get rid of (either the old fashioned way by bankruptcy or the new fashioned way by shot gun merger) some of the lenders. Take personal responsibility for own welfare and get back to a simpler way of life. Change your own damn oil in your car?

Fourth, we have to be honest. "Honey, does this dress make me look fat?" or "Hey, Sec Geithner, is the entire freakin' banking system involvent?" Yes, honey, that dress makes you look like a heifer and the entire freakin' banking system is insolvent.

And, Sweetie, the American car companies are not going to make it regardless of how hard you slap them with a checkbook and it doesn't matter whether the UAW votes Republican, Democrat or Martian --- pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. Off to the slaughter house for the UAW.

Fifth, how bad is it really? We are nowhere near the impacts of the Great Depression. Hell, unemployment has not reached the levels of the early 1980s. Can it get there? Ummm, maybe but it isn't there just yet and the government intervention is hugely greater now than then.

Sixth and this is the real dangerous one --- Does Pres Obama really know what he is doing? Uhhh, nobody really does. But we are going to fake it until we make it.

It would be very, very helpful to redirect all those $$$ going to the Mideast to US energy companies and we can start doing that on Monday.

Now relax, we will muddle through regardless of who is President; and, yes, giving a great speech is not a substitute for knowing what you are doing.

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ybul 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM,

on our safety Bad News From America's Top Spy...He warned that the deepening economic crisis posed perhaps our gravest threat to stability and national security. It could trigger, he said, a return to the "violent extremism" of the 1920s and 1930s. (www.organicconsumers.org/articles/art...

Not to worry the military is being trained to deploy at home... (www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_h...

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Tim Scannell 5 years, 5 months ago

stillinsteamboat. Bush is gone. How about dealing with today and tomorrow.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

ybul ---

New guy in new job. I don't think we really have to worry too much about the UAW rioting and overturning the government.

I think the more interesting note is the validation that terrorists are going to have a tough time coming up with real cash reserves to fund their wickedness.

Remember the USSR was not beaten on the battlefield but rather at the craps table. We anted up 1% of GDP and they had to ante up 15% of USSR GDP. We beat them with dollars v rubles and not tank to tank.

Ther terrorists will dry up and blow away without funding to do their mischief.

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

"Ther terrorists will dry up and blow away without funding to do their mischief."

Huh. Seems to me, that the terrorists are being funded by skyrocketing heroin sales... and that their asymmetrical tactics don't require much funding in the first place. Breaking "the terrorist economy" like we did to the Soviets' isn't going to happen. The likely result of trying to fight terrorism by throwing infinte dollars at the Pentagon would be an implosion of the U.S. economy...

Now, what makes you think we're winning, or about to win, in Afghanistan? I provided an awful lot of facts to the contrary in a previous thread, surely you didn't miss the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's quote, "We are not winning in Afghanistan." Do you have any facts to back up your position?

You say that we are safer now than we have been in years. Does this mean you have some factual reference which shows that global terrorism has been decreasing? Do you really think having our economy go down the toilet isn't a threat to our security? Do you have any facts to back up your position?

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

"Our real problem is Americans who are lazy, dishonest and drug addled. Everybody has got to work at it, or we will never recover. The examples set for us since the 60s are poor ones, and it's time for a change all right; back to personal responsibility."

Oh, is that all? Seems to me that our real problems stem from the deregulation of the now-insolvent banking system, which wouldn't be a problem because "corporate responsibility" would prevent fraud. Put the blame where it belongs, not on the shoulders of the American worker, whose astonishing productivity gains over the past 30 years were responsible for our until-recent prosperity -- not the corporate execs who took credit for it and pocketed the profits.

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

"He should have vetoed the bill with a speech demanding that Congress rework the bill with transparency while at the same time demanding that the hundreds of billions in non-stimulus pork be removed."

This is not serious analysis. I'm going to have to concur with Scott Ford's comment following your last anti-Obama column: stick to local issues. If I want to read bogus GOP talking points about the economy or national security, they're available throughout the rest of the paper, or I could listen to Rush or something.

Hundreds of billions of dollars in pork? Hundreds of billions? There's pork in the bill, sure -- this is the U.S. government we're talking about here. But if it was that bad, then surely there would be some examples beyond $30 million for saving some mouse, that soooo many GOP legislators have spoken out against? OK, that's $30 million, and accounts for 90% of the "pork" examples I've seen anyone actually detail.

That leaves $199,070,000,000 to go, to even begin to prove that your point is worthy of your status as a newspaper columnist. Bias is one thing. Bull**** is another.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Tick tock tick tock!

Pres Bush kept us safe for 7.5 years after 9-11.

Pres Obama has kept us safe for 35 days.

"Hope" this doesn't "change!"

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Eric,

The banking failure and profiteering problems fall under "Dishonest." Maybe also, "Lazy."

Alan Greenspan couldn't believe that banks would act to their own detriment. He was raised in an age where personal responsibility and stewardship were the norm.

I distinctly remember the shift in society in the 70s where we started seeing white kids from the Bible Belt messed up on drugs and living irresponsibly. Blame it on the drugs. Blame the drugs on Vietnam. Blame Vietnam on Johnson, and Kennedy, and Eisenhower, and Truman, and Roosevelt. Blame anybody you want. The fact is that illegitimacy became acceptable in the greater society, teenage angst was addressed with drugs and rebellion instead of discipline and hard work, nearly universal military service for able-bodied men was ended when the draft ended, and spoiled kids with enough Daddy money to support them took the line of least resistance to comfort, and sometimes, to wealth obtained unlawfully or immorally.

I can remember the days when all of the kids in my community understood the penalities for bad behavior, and most of us conformed either because it was "right," or to stay out of trouble. Somewhere along the line, it got to be where you weren't in trouble until somebody could prove it, and calling the cops only showed people that there was nothing to be afraid of unless there was iron-clad proof of guilt. Now jump ahead to the banking crisis. Do you see the connection? Does the light come on?

Part of human nature is lazy, predatory and pleasure seeking above all else. The other part that wants to protect everybody, provide a safe society and have a productive life and loving family is willing to work to make it happen. The problem is that we seem to be split about 50-50 on those two sides in this country, and the portion that goes to work and makes an honest effort to support themselves and the rest of the 50% of responsible citizens in the same category just can't do it while the other 50% runs amok.

We are in the mess we're in because irresponsibility took over when today's 30-somethings were still kids. They've never known anything different.

The fundamental shift from the nuclear American middle-class family to the single-parent, broken family with drug addled kids is the problem. Grown men and women acted immorally and irresponsibly, and their kids grew up to understand that "nothing you do is wrong as long as you are happy and don't injure someone else." Their kids have grown up to understand that you are not "wrong" until you get caught and punished.

So guess what? We're caught. We're all being punished. Now what?

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM, How about $100 to shed your anonymity.

This discourse is about as inviting as a sewer.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

ej, babe, we've missed you --- guess you got out of jail or still looking for that elusive aclu communist party link? LOL

Just a day or so ago, Pres Obama authorized the addition of 17,000 troops, including the 4th Bde ABN of the 25th Div and some Marine units, to Afghanistan. These are almost all combat troops and as such they are the combat power equivalent of two Army Divisions --- quite a potent force. This will have a huge impact on the fighting come spring in the mountains.

Pres Obama has apparently ramped up the UAV attack program even basing the units in Pakistan. Obviously, as I had indicated some time before, the Pakistanis are continuing the fiction of pretending they are "against" any intrusions of their sovereign air space while providing aid and succor to our forces as well as likely providing targeting information.

The program is slow but surely eliminating terrorists --- interestingly enough even groups which the US had not yet targeted but that were responsible for the assassination of Madame Bhutto. The US is doing Pakistan's bidding on this score all the while Pakistan is saying --- "OMG, there's drinking going on in there!"

The war in Afghanistan will have a huge increase in activity this summer and there is a high likelihood that this will be the big tipping point.

When a couple of thousand paratroopers show up in your valley, they are a huge agent for change. I kinda "hope" this is the "change" that Pres Obama promised. "Hope and change", a program we can all believe in! LOL

Terrorists have to be able to buy bullets, so yes difficult economic times will have a big impact on their effectiveness.

The poppy crop in Afghanistan is a strategic consideration for the future of the country. I have often wondered why we don't just buy it in toto for a couple of years but most of it goes to Europe rather than the US.

The way we are throwing money around these days, this seems like a viable investment.

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

Man, Republicans will do anything to make them feel right. Rob, history doesn't change over night, it takes a while. 35 days, and all people want are results. Sometimes I just feel sorry for those people.

Aich. you are the perfect example. Why be part of the problem instead of the solution? Ya know, you wanted a man who believed everything was fine. Everything would just go away, and Bush's policy would definitely work. Ya right.

JLM- Like I said before, history doesn't change over night. We can't just pull out our troops. I know this still isn't what it looks like, but give it time before we all start blabbering our mouths.

People need to shut-up and stop pointing fingers, and think about what is going on. What would you do, Aich and JLM?

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

windle, babe, wake up it's all a bad dream

Uhhhh, you must not really be comprehending what I have said. I am for the school that things are going to be "OK" in the long run and there will be no riots in the streets and the recovery has already begun. Try another read and see if you can pick up the vibe.

I don't need anybody to care for me. I can take good care of myself. Always have and always will.

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ybul 5 years, 5 months ago

JLM, the terrorists will dry up, as long as the price of oil stays low.

Still does not solve the issue of high unemployment with 1 in 9 houses vacant, it won't change soon. Especially with state and local govts cutting as much spending as the feds are throwing at the economy.

Real solutions need crafted, locally as only those in a given area know the abilities of its workforce, and the resources available. Here in the valley, you have a considerable amount of wealth flowing in. The question is with the rising unemployment as noticed by the lack of help wanted ads, and applications when one is placed, how can more of the money flowing into the valley be retained?

Energy costs leave the valley Food expenses leave the valley (largely) Clothing (cant probably compete with this non-perishable good) Shelter, a toss up as to who owns the shelter or the mortgage.

Which areas can the community look towards to the retention of more Money (a store of hard work, in its original conception)

Geothermal, biomass, biodiesel, wind northwest of here all renewable resources which can be harvested here with the abundance of water in the valley. That is if Shell does not gain a speculative right on water in the valley, as there is no clear plan, or estimate as to how much water will be used in the process.

Food, Plenty of opportunity to compete, especially if the feds would kill grain subsidies and work towards no or labor subsidies. (food is a large tourism related quantity today)

Clothes, with the abundance of wool grown west of here, smartwool, routt county woolens this could be a source of retention and additional tourism dollars spent here. But most would need to be made elsewhere

Housing, this could be attained by a community star rating for the owner of a property, to show if the property owner is local or outside the area. In an effort to retain more tourism dollars in town.

The solutions need to come locally, not hand grenades from the federal government. The Feds give out money like heroin and have state and local governments addicted to it and the debt burden it adds to future generations.

The Republican/Democrat talk needs to stop. Finding ways to help lift up all citizens of this great country need found. They need taught how to fish, so they are no longer dependent upon the nanny state.

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

"ej, babe, we've missed you guess you got out of jail or still looking for that elusive aclu communist party link? LOL"

Say something intelligent, or shut the hell up. You've already stated your hate for me in other threads, including the statement that there's a "special place in hell" for me. Your posts are ludicrous, meaningless, invective-laced blather -- all sound and fury, signifying nothing. You do not know me, yet you hide behind your anonymity to hurl insults and names in my direction. You are a waste of skin, and I will not respond further to your flame-trolling posts. If I were in charge of this forum, you would be banned for being such an ass. Do you have a name, or do you dare not say here, due to your juvenile behavior?

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

Adding 17,000 troops when our commanders in the field have been requesting 60,000 - 70,000 troops won't lead to victory. It's foolhardy and won't change the downward spiral of the Afghan war.

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

How's this for transparency?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/us/politics/20budget.html

Looks like Obama's not going to abandon his pledge, despite his "failure to veto" the stimulus bill.

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

ej, babe ---

Calm down, you'll give yourself a heart attack. You are so predictable and obvious that it is almost not fun even debating w/ you. And you used to be such a "fun" guy. You should study your Alinsky a bit more. LOL

You become frustrated when your obvious weak arguments are exposed for the nonsense they truly are. The ACLU wasn't founded by Communists? Pshaw!

The Afghan commanders have formally requested 30,000 troops but they were across the board both combat troops and support troops. What the Obama administration has done is to give them the combat troops and is trying to get allies to provide the support troops. The allies are reluctant to commit combat troops to the theater. Cause, in the end, they are really not allies, a lesson the Obama administration seems to be doomed to pay full tuition to learn yet again.

It is also important to note that the Pakistanis are actually cooperating very well by allowing America to base Predators on their soil and training an entire commando unit outside the chain of command of the military thereby ensuring no Taliban infiltration. The training is being done by SF. Both of these initiatives have been widely reported in the NYT (why?) and both began in the Bush administration.

This is real progress and an acknowledgement that Pakistan wants to get rid of the Taliban on its soil as much as we do in Afghanistan.

So, it is game on in Afghanistan and the end game will be victory even with Pres Obama at the helm. Those PDBs must be really scary.

By the end of the summer, the Afghan situation will be well in hand. In many ways, this is just the Surge Redux. Trust me, it's gonna be OK. Remember when Harry Reid said we had already lost --- well, he was wrong then and you're wrong now. But, hey, that's just my opinion.

Pres Obama failed to meet HIS standards as it relates to the transparency he promised --- 48 hours on line to review a Bill before action to pass the Bill. That was the deal, his deal and he failed to meet his own commitment. So, the question is, is the President's word good?

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Playa,

You're right. All of this is my fault.

Now, you go fix it.

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

"Calm down, you'll give yourself a heart attack. You are so predictable and obvious that it is almost not fun even debating w/ you. And you used to be such a "fun" guy. You should study your Alinsky a bit more. LOL"

You're the predictable and obvious one. Whenever you can't debate anyone on the merits of their point, you start in with the name-calling and insult-hurling that you wouldn't dare to do if your name were attached. COWARD. Now you've crossed over the line and have libeled me. No wonder you wouldn't DARE tell us your name. You might learn a thing or two about the limits of free speech.

"You become frustrated when your obvious weak arguments are exposed for the nonsense they truly are. The ACLU wasn't founded by Communists? Pshaw!"

If you weren't becoming frustrated at your own obviously weak arguments, then you wouldn't lash out like a child and call everyone else (who disagrees with you) names. Period. I'm comfortable enough not only in my beliefs, but also the factual basis behind my beliefs, that I don't need to derail conversations into flame-fests the way you do, by resorting to name-calling and insult hurling the way you do.

Nobody who hasn't insulted me by calling me names, or lying about me on a public forum, or stated that there's a special place in hell for me, has ever been insulted or called a name by me in return.

Truly pathetic, for anyone to behave as you do. I have proven capable of being civil, within reasonable limits -- you have not, as anyone familiar with your posts well knows.

Either tell us your name, or stop being a COWARD who has to use anonymity as a shield to hide behind, for the specific purpose of insulting people rather than participating in a civilized fashion. Behave like a grown-up instead of a 10-year-old... not that I believe you're capable of that.

As to the ACLU thing, why are you bringing up old stuff? Anyone can read that thread for themselves and see that you came across as a total idiot. Misstating that debate here, as if you had actually won a single point, just goes to show what a pathetic loser you are.

Believe it or not, the topic here has nothing to do with me. Post comments relevant to the issues, not the other people making comments. What's next, are you going to bring my mother into this? How mature.

There's a word for anonymous cowards like you online: TROLL.

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Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 5 months ago

"But, hey, that's just my opinion."

Based on not a single fact, and blissfully ignorant of the fact that there's still no exit strategy in Afghanistan -- it's just a war for the sake of having a war, at this point.

The sky is orange! But hey, that's just your opinion... maybe if you had your facts straight you'd be worthy of debating, after you begin behaving like an adult, after you tell us your name instead of hiding behind your anonymity like a freaking coward. That's three strikes against you, so I doubt you'll ever be worthy of being taken seriously here. I'm certainly not holding my breath.

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playa46 5 years, 5 months ago

Aich- I am not saying this is your fault. I am just saying you would rather point fingers rather than try to help this country. I asked what you would do to solve this country, but, like any other republican, avoided the subject. Good job!

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Hahahahaha, ej, babe, you are really a hoot. Libel, of course, implies a written or published statement which has damaged your reputation. Given the state of our reputation, is that possible? Huh, fun guy? I don't exactly see it.

Of course, I am sure that you recognize that "truth" is the absolute defense to libel and the pecularities of the issue as to whether a "blog" is in fact a "publisher", but maybe not? You, my friend, are an easy mark. LOL

I thought you had gotten the talking points that Afghanistan was going to be Pres Obama's war --- no? This is His war!

Those NYT articles not enough fact for you, flamer?

Let's just make a friendly wager as to who is right come the first snowfall in Afghanistan and Pakistan next winter. My money says the Taliban are screwed, blued and tattooed. For say $100? Just to keep it interesting?

The exit strategy in Afghanistan? Uhhh, that would be victory. Not a concept a lot of liberals are familiar with. But it might just work. I think Pres Obama intends to give it a whirl at least in Afghanistan. We'll see.

Get back on the meds, boyo!

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JLM 5 years, 5 months ago

Inquiring little minds want to know but only the Shadow knows for sure! LOL

I am really quite flattered that anybody would want to know who I am and therefore the bidding will have to increase a bit higher. Plus, there are plenty of folks who know exactly who I am. I am Everyman. Unafraid to charge the fires of Hell with a half thimble full of water.

I thought we signed up to follow the Pilot's rules and not yours or ej's? Just go with the flow, it's gonna be OK.

I am happy with the rules as they exist. If you're not, then go elsewhere.

I even think that the anonymity of the internet and this forum are quite healthy as they draw out views from dingalings who would otherwise never get a word in edgewise in the world's serious discussions. Even the dingalings are taken as seriously as the towering intellects because only their words are seen and only their thoughts compete with the thoughts of others uncolored by their station in life. That is true democracy.

It broadens the sources of good ideas and I applaud its application. I like it and it is useful.

I must admit I even like to hear from old EJ, he's a clever fellow quite capable of crafting a convincing sentence and to defend his thoughts. I find him a bit bombastic and he's really the thinest skinned commentator I have encountered in a bit but I enjoy seeing how his mind works. He has the assurance of youth quite convinced that if you can find a bit of support in Salon or HuffPo, well it must be true.

Like many liberals he constantly overplays his hand and I appreciate the opportunity to provide some real world guard rails on his flights of fancy. Though I may pinch him a bit, I always stick to the subject at hand. Hell, I'd buy the old boy a beer to hear his rant.

So don't despair, everybody will be OK.

The Shadow

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aichempty 5 years, 5 months ago

Playa,

How would I fix it?

Asteroid. Big one. Soon.

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Rob Douglas 5 years, 5 months ago

[Here's an update on a Grass Roots effort to have the legislative process open to meaningful input from citizens and legislators alike.]

Read the Bill, Group Tells Congress by Kim Zetter, Wired Magazine

Didn't have time to read the 1,100-page stimulus bill before it passed? You're not alone. Neither did anyone in the House and Senate who signed away $790 billion of taxpayer money.

It's not the first time federal lawmakers quickly passed legislation without reading it or giving anyone else time to read it.

<p>Readthebill.org wants to know, What's the rush?

The site is demanding that lawmakers post all bills online at least 72 hours before they go to the floor for debate, and it wants your help in pressuring Capitol Hill to do so. The site, along with OpenCongress, is providing a continually updated list of bills that are given less than 72 hours for review and is asking the public to sign a petition letting lawmakers know what they think of fast-lane legislation.

See the full report at http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/02/read-the-bill-g.html

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